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    #1

    Sad Ugh

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    So last night was not a pleasant evening for myself and DB. He gets moody sometimes and when he gets this way I feel like nothing I can say or do is right. He's snappish, impatient, and brooding. I usually deal with it in stride, but it's been worse than usual lately as he's having a hard time deciding what to do with his life and it's the anniversary of the death of one of his team-members. Those dates are always hard for him.

    Last night we were going to watch a movie, but for some reason I couldn't get the movie to play. He snapped at me, "What's wrong now?" and I responded with, "It's not my fault!" He was quiet for awhile as I tried to get the movie to work then just told me he was going to bed and feeling grumpy.

    This evening he decides to tell me how he doesn't appreciate the double standard of me being able to snap at him whenever I want, but when he does it he gets into trouble for it. He told me he went to bed because he just wanted to yell at me and swear at me, which took me aback. Firstly, I didn't think I snapped at him at all, but he perceived it as such, I guess. Secondly, he says and does a lot of things that annoy me, but I keep my mouth shut and I know for a fact if I were to do those, he'd have an entire herd of cows and maybe a littler of puppies too. He's crazy sensitive, despite hiding it well. Thirdly, I don't think he realizes how difficult he is to deal with when he's moody. He gets annoyed because I walk around on eggshells with him when he's like this, but what else am I supposed to do? I say or do the wrong thing and he's throwing a hissy fit (like this one). It is exhausting.

    So tonight I just let him vent on me and apologized for making him feel the way he felt. I realize I can be defensive and snappish sometimes, but in this case I knew I hadn't been. But even when I apologized and we talked about it some more, he decides to tell me I wasn't listening to what he said and it wasn't about working on being better about things or apologizing. To which I just sort of internally sighed to myself and let it go. For a guy who hates no win situations, he puts me into them often.

    I'm trying very hard not to feel resentful or angry about this. I realize it isn't so much about me and what I do wrong as it is he just has a hard time coping with the loss of his teammates (we go through this a couple times a year), but there has to be a line drawn somewhere and I'm just not sure how to do without lashing out at him or making him feel worse than he already does.

    Part of me feels like it's par for the course, that I just need to suck it up and let him do what he needs to do to get through this time. But another part of me is tired of being his punching bag when he goes through this (not literally, it's more like covert sneak attacks I don't see coming). I'm not sure what I should do...suck it up and just try to be as supportive as I can during these moments, or do I put my foot down and say, "Hey, enough"? I don't think he realizes how he is when he gets this way, I honestly don't. I've told him before that when he's moody, he's not nice to be around (he doesn't verbally insult me or anything like that, he just picks fights, and I end up apologizing for them), but it doesn't seem to register.

    So frustrating...
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by deedsnotwords View Post
    So last night was not a pleasant evening for myself and DB. He gets moody sometimes and when he gets this way I feel like nothing I can say or do is right. He's snappish, impatient, and brooding. I usually deal with it in stride, but it's been worse than usual lately as he's having a hard time deciding what to do with his life and it's the anniversary of the death of one of his team-members. Those dates are always hard for him.

    Last night we were going to watch a movie, but for some reason I couldn't get the movie to play. He snapped at me, "What's wrong now?" and I responded with, "It's not my fault!" He was quiet for awhile as I tried to get the movie to work then just told me he was going to bed and feeling grumpy.
    To the bold ... honestly I can see how he saw that as snapping, because he asked you a question and you were defensive. I know I'm missing tone here, and I don't mean this to sound critical because I do the same in those kinds of situations, but I do see where he's coming from too.

    This evening he decides to tell me how he doesn't appreciate the double standard of me being able to snap at him whenever I want, but when he does it he gets into trouble for it. He told me he went to bed because he just wanted to yell at me and swear at me, which took me aback. Firstly, I didn't think I snapped at him at all, but he perceived it as such, I guess. Secondly, he says and does a lot of things that annoy me, but I keep my mouth shut and I know for a fact if I were to do those, he'd have an entire herd of cows and maybe a littler of puppies too. He's crazy sensitive, despite hiding it well. Thirdly, I don't think he realizes how difficult he is to deal with when he's moody. He gets annoyed because I walk around on eggshells with him when he's like this, but what else am I supposed to do? I say or do the wrong thing and he's throwing a hissy fit (like this one). It is exhausting.

    So tonight I just let him vent on me and apologized for making him feel the way he felt. I realize I can be defensive and snappish sometimes, but in this case I knew I hadn't been. But even when I apologized and we talked about it some more, he decides to tell me I wasn't listening to what he said and it wasn't about working on being better about things or apologizing. To which I just sort of internally sighed to myself and let it go. For a guy who hates no win situations, he puts me into them often.
    Bolded here, I think this runs together too. You say you know you didn't do anything wrong, that's probably what he's going to focus on even if you're still apologizing for making him FEEL that you snapped. I do the same thing with DH sometimes ... he can give me a great talk but one little sentence like "btw I wasn't wrong" and I get mad all over again.

    I'm trying very hard not to feel resentful or angry about this. I realize it isn't so much about me and what I do wrong as it is he just has a hard time coping with the loss of his teammates (we go through this a couple times a year), but there has to be a line drawn somewhere and I'm just not sure how to do without lashing out at him or making him feel worse than he already does.

    Part of me feels like it's par for the course, that I just need to suck it up and let him do what he needs to do to get through this time. But another part of me is tired of being his punching bag when he goes through this (not literally, it's more like covert sneak attacks I don't see coming). I'm not sure what I should do...suck it up and just try to be as supportive as I can during these moments, or do I put my foot down and say, "Hey, enough"? I don't think he realizes how he is when he gets this way, I honestly don't. I've told him before that when he's moody, he's not nice to be around (he doesn't verbally insult me or anything like that, he just picks fights, and I end up apologizing for them), but it doesn't seem to register.

    So frustrating...
    Do you guys have "rules" for conflict resolution? DH and I implemented those and it really helped us come to an agreement about "fighting fair" and handling disagreements. For example, he went to bed because he was angry, that seems like a pretty good solution! Or maybe you guys can have a code word for "you don't realize it but you're in a mood and we both need to step back" so you can regroup, take a break from each other if needed, and nothing escalates.

    I'm sorry if I sound critical, I don't mean to be! Like I said I do a lot of that stuff myself. Making a "rules of engagement" for how we disagree really helped our relationship though.
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    #3
    I don't have any experience with this type of situation as far as the stress that triggers him to be more sensitive, but since you know when it happens, maybe you two could find a way to prepare for it before it happens? Is there something you two can do together that will put him in a better mindset? Do you both acknowledge that that's the problem (as far as him acting differently on the anniversaries of his buddies' deaths)?


    “It always seems impossible until it's done.”
    ― Nelson Mandela
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    #4
    I know DH and I go through phases where we are at each others throats. I swear he has a Meriod (man period) We sometimes go a week with bickering and then it smooths out. I always try and stay calm and collected and of course that never happens. Try talking things out once things get on smooth surface. Communication is hard in relationships because sometimes people take things how they weren't intended. It's frustrating I know.

    Also when stress comes into play I know myself gets more on edge. Wish I had more words of wisdom for you.

    But many
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    No, you're not being critical. Another set of eyes on the situation helps. I've been looking at it from a, "He snapped at me first" sort of standpoint and he even admitted he was moody and probably a bit more abrupt than he should have been. But I can see how he could interpret my response as snapping at him and being defensive.

    I guess it just bothers me that all of our arguments become discussions about what I need to do better, what I need to work on, what I'm doing wrong (to which I just agree with him and tell him I'll work on things). Then somehow I'm missing the point and he gets upset all over again, to which I end up apologizing more, and around and around we go until I'm not even sure what it is he needs to hear me say to get him to be content. So I just clam up and let him talk at me until he burns himself out, like he did tonight. I end up feeling resentful and he just goes off to bed and snores.

    We don't fight often. It's pretty rare, but it is always the same cycle and after it's done, I'm always left wondering if I'll ever be 'right' enough for him. I've worked really hard on being less defensive. I used to be pretty awful about snapping at him when I thought he was attacking me, but now it only happens once in awhile. Doesn't make it right and he certainly doesn't deserve it, but I've come a long way since we first met. But to listen to him talk when he gets this way, I do it all the time and if he does it I get mad at him and it's not fair, etc, etc, etc.

    Maybe I do? Maybe I'm not better about it like I thought I was? I don't know.

    I would love to have some conflict resolution rules! lol But he pretty much takes matters into his own hands by either leaving or going to bed. I used to hate it, but now I see it's often better to just walk away, take a break, and gain some perspective. We need some rules about listening I think, for both he and myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danik View Post
    I don't have any experience with this type of situation as far as the stress that triggers him to be more sensitive, but since you know when it happens, maybe you two could find a way to prepare for it before it happens? Is there something you two can do together that will put him in a better mindset? Do you both acknowledge that that's the problem (as far as him acting differently on the anniversaries of his buddies' deaths)?
    I try to be conscientious of these dates, so I can brace myself for them. He, however, wouldn't be open to a preparation stage because that would be admitting he can't cope with their deaths in a way that doesn't affect the people around him. He tries so hard to hide how he's feeling so the rest of us don't see it, but he broods and it just spirals down from there, then we end up with the, "I can't show my feelings around you" argument to which there is no convincing him otherwise. I tell myself that is just the grief talking, but I still feel like a horrible gf when he says things like that.

    I try to do things as normally as I can, but I'm constantly dodging stink bombs that could potentially end up as an argument. I was unlucky and stepped in one last night, sadly. I mean, our evening started with me asking if he wanted to watch a movie, then picking a comedy to which is response was, "Why? Are you trying to make me feel better?" lol And if I keep my distance, he feels like I'm 'walking on eggshells' with him, which just annoys the crap out of him.
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    #7
    No. Death is a horrible thing but you didn't kill these people. It's tragic anyone lost their life and yes you should be supportive but if he's lashing out this much, he needs counseling. And if he wasn't willing to get it, I'd walk.

    You can only take so much before you start snapping too. It starts as verbal attacks and I've seen it escalate to much much worse. Put your foot down now, but not in a rude way.

    Tell him; "I understand you are going through a rough time right now. I want to and will support you and be here for you, but it stops when you lash out at me like you have been doing. I will take you venting, and will understand if I'm doing something that upsets you. However the way we handle that is you talk to me like the mature adult I know you can be and I'll do the same. But as for everything else, it needs to stop. I love you, I'm here for you but not if you are going to be mean and hurtful."

    JMO.
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    #8
    I agree with getting counseling. For him to cope with his grief and denial and for you to cope with him.


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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MamaStrong View Post

    Tell him; "I understand you are going through a rough time right now. I want to and will support you and be here for you, but it stops when you lash out at me like you have been doing. I will take you venting, and will understand if I'm doing something that upsets you. However the way we handle that is you talk to me like the mature adult I know you can be and I'll do the same. But as for everything else, it needs to stop. I love you, I'm here for you but not if you are going to be mean and hurtful."

    JMO.
    Yeah, I definitely need to be more firm with this. We've talked about his brooding and how difficult he can be when he gets into these moods, but he seems to think he needs to bottle himself up more to protect us from it, when that's not the case at all (and has the opposite effect). I also think it frustrates him that he still feels so strongly for the ones he lost, as it's been several years since most of them passed on.

    He does have a counselor that he goes to see sometimes, but he spends a lot of time trying to deal with it on his own. I guess I've just tried to endure his moods because I don't know what it's like to watch people I love and care about die (one of them he lost was his childhood friend, who died in his arms) and I'm not sure how I'd behave in his situation.

    Just to be clear, he's never called me names or belittled me, and he'd never hit me or hurt me physically like that. We've been together for several years now and most of the time things are amazing, fun, and happy, it's just when these dates come around that things get rough for us. But you are right, it does become exhausting after awhile and it's not fair I take the brunt of his grief in these times.

    I think I'll wait until he works through this episode, then approach the subject again when his heart and mind are in a better place. I don't think he'd be open to a rational discussion right now and it doesn't feel right to add more stress to what he's feeling right now.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by deedsnotwords View Post
    I would love to have some conflict resolution rules! lol But he pretty much takes matters into his own hands by either leaving or going to bed. I used to hate it, but now I see it's often better to just walk away, take a break, and gain some perspective. We need some rules about listening I think, for both he and myself.
    I have totally been there with this. DH doesn't get angry often, but when he does it takes him a LONG time to cool down. He will want to go to bed, go out for a drive, go watch TV, something to get his mind out of that bad cycle where he's just spinning himself up and getting angrier and more irrational.

    I know it can feel like "taking matters into his own hands," but really it's best for both of us, because when he's that upset we're not going to be able to solve problems, and the more I push him the more likely it is that he's going to say something he'll regret. One of our rules for conflict resolution actually is that if he needs time to settle his mind that I give it to him.

    It sounds like he needs some rules too though - maybe something like not bringing up the past but only focusing on the CURRENT issue (so he doesn't go through a laundry list of things he thinks you did wrong), or for everything he tells you to change he tells you something he is going to change, etc.

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